Dear diary, blog, friends and strangers on the internet. A few days ago, I let myself down. I know that I’m being way overdramatic, but to me, that’s one of the worst things I can do. I’m not talking about being weak and eating chocolate or buying soda when I shouldn’t have – did that to, couldn’t care less, I’ll sweat it out later. (Writing is good exercise anyway, right?) – I’m talking about betraying what I thought made me, me. Does that make sense to any of you? I suppose I learned something valuable at the same time: that the only, and I mean only, person who can hurt my feelings and let me down is myself. And you know what? I’m pretty sure that goes for most of you. Even when other people are at the heart of the problem, it’s me I’ve gotta live with afterwards. I’ll get right to it, and stop beating around the bush here:
I was heading home from the store, minding my own beeswax as usual, when someone stopped me. I instantly realized it was a recruiter for some sort of charity – it always is when it’s a pretty young person. (Not why I stopped, she was between me and the exit.) I was in a hurry, but stopped to be polite, and she started asking me all these questions. I replied, she gave me a pin from the charity, and took my name down to ‘send me updates in the future’. Next thing I know, I’d said yes to giving X amount of money for the rest of my life and all that jazz. (At this point, I even remembered thinking that I’d just stop the payments as soon as they showed up in my bank-account.) Between every piece of information she took down, she assured me that she’d let me go on my merry way soon, and that no money would leave without my consent and such. (Which at that point I was pretty sure I’d already given . . . so yeah.)
Needless to say, when I left for my car 15 minutes later I was furious. Here, I’d stopped to be polite, instead of just shouldering past her to the exit (these people are just doing their job, after all), and been ‘conned’ out of my hard earned money. I was mostly angry with myself, for being such a passive twat. I could’ve told this person anything, ranging from ‘no, thank you!‘ to ‘fuck the fuck off!‘. I could’ve just left, for Christ’s sake! The door was two inches to my right. I could’ve literally just stepped away into the cold parking lot and be done with the whole thing. Sure enough, she used every trick in the book. ‘This won’t take but a minute! Help those who can’t help themselves. Have a heart, it’s Christmas! No money until you decide so for yourself!’ But that’s not an excuse for me – I still could’ve said no, or just left. It’s so easy to just blame those assholes, because they’re lined up between you and the exit, they come at you when you’re tired and on your way home, they attack your compassion and guilt you into listening. But in the end, who the hell is responsible for you? That’s yourself, my dear friend. And if you’re powerless against these kinds of people, no matter how many excuses you conjure up in your mind, Noman only knows what else you’re powerless against. I’ve used this quote before, but it’s just so goddamn fitting:
If you tolerate this, then your children will be next – Manic Street Preachers.
The moral of this story is that you always need to speak your mind. Always! Like I mentioned above; I’ve actually learned that other people can’t hurt me, for the most part. Be mean, be an asshole, be whatever, and that won’t affect me. What does affect me greatly is when I handle it in a shitty way and have to live with myself for the rest of my life. And do you know what shitty way that is, most of the time? Not speaking my damn mind! It’s never (seriously, not even once!) that I was mean or harsh or acted like an asshole back, it’s always that I didn’t. I’ve allowed someone to roll over me, and now I feel like a piece of shit because I was steamrolled without even a word. If you’re anything like me, then you’ll mentally prepare yourself for these situations, and you’ll be way to extreme, because in your head, you’ve demonized these people. When they greet you nicely, you’re taken aback and all your tough-guy shenanigans fall away. The only way to counter every single salesperson and general asshole is to speak your goddamn mind! And if that fails – which it won’t, because 80% of the time, it works every time! – you can always just . . .
I’m Robert Bishop, and I’m a passive-agressive coward! I write a tough game, and I look tough I guess, kinda, I don’t know . . . but on the inside I’m just pure marshmallow.
FYI: The organisation called me up the next day to congratulate me on my ‘awesome choice’ and I promptly told them to take me off all their lists and leave me be. When they asked if the girl on the stand ‘harassed me’ I did the polite thing and told them that ‘no, I’m just an idiot who somehow for some reason thought it would be impolite to say no . . . and instead decided to wait until I started bleeding money to cancel my subscription.’ It happens more than you’d think, I suppose, because the woman on the phone took me off without much bickering.
Speak your mind, fools.